The noun rebuttal takes its meaning not from butte, or “rising ground,” as the noun butt does, but from the Anglo-Norman French rebuter, “to butt against.”
Gentle rebuttal to the top ten most-used climate myths has been on my mind lately. How do we talk about climate without losing our minds, our friends, and the chance to work together for a comfortable future?
Certainly not by believing the myths. The phenomenon of myth is in itself fascinating: tales (sometimes tall) are embedded in the fabric of our culture through repetition. And more repetition. And more. Oral tradition depends on story being passed from teller to teller, repeated often so that details are lodged in memory.
In the case of climate change, myths that are passed around and promoted in anti-science media veil important data; these are facts we have to understand so we can work most effectively to mitigate, adapt to, and offset our changing climate. One easy thing we can do right now, say the experts, is to break our silence on climate.
But how to start? Through personal connection and fact-based story. The stories come from your own experience. The facts come from the science. Use some of the easily accessible and trustworthy sources on the internet to bolster your climate talk–you can request a list of sources that I’ve put together if you life. Request it here.
Soon you’ll be gently rebutting the tall tales. What are the top ten myths told about climate? The fabulous website Skeptical Science lists them as follows.
- Climate has changed before.
- The sun is to blame.
- Global warming isn’t so bad.
- There’s no scientific consensus.
- Climate’s actually cooling.
- The climate models are unreliable.
- Temperature records are unreliable.
- Animals and plants can adapt.
- The planet hasn’t warmed since 1998.
- Antarctica is gaining ice.
For fact-based rebuttals to the above remarkable claims, do take a tour of Skeptical Science. I refer to it often to hone my climate-communication skills. For other resources, ask me to send my Cool Tip 2, Six Sites on Climate, anti myths you can refer to again and again, to keep a cool head while engaging in climate conversation.
The planet will thank you. I’ll thank you. Kids the world over will thank you.